In this fantasy tale of two cultures, a struggling young artist in London meets an eleven prince. In the cavern where an ensorcelled husk holds the remnants of the old king, this being sets his four sons to compete for his throne. The youngest is traditionally the winner; one of the princes arranges for the youngest brother to die. Clearly the gloves are off and the remaining brothers can trust nobody. Prince Kjartan is horrified by the death, and next has to battle off a party of wraiths... he magically travels to the world of men, which is full of painful iron.
Young Joel is cycling around London trying to find the resources to pay off a loan and save his job. The art gallery owner was hit by a car and is in hospital, so it's up to him as the sole employee. Joel got taken for a ride once before, when a boyfriend skipped the country with his savings. He's first got to defend himself against the loan shark's enforcers, then stumbles across an elf lying unconscious in rubbish bins. Kjartan is injured, and when he comes around, insists Joel be his servant. Can this day get any more bizarre?
This has to be one of the most unusual stories I've read in some time, with the unpleasantness of the elf kingdom contrasted with the plain honesty and artistry of Joel, and street violence topped by a visit to Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty proves a most excellent heroine, and a welcome guest in the tale. If you've wondered how it would feel to battle a swarm of goblins, or to fall in love with a proud elfish prince, give this a try. It's funny and reckless, and it's always entertaining. It's for Roald Dahl fans who have grown up. While there's a gay romance, the alternate sexuality content is a small part of the story and I consider it could be read by teenagers.